Typha /ˈtaɪfə/ is a genus of about 30 species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the family Typhaceae. These plants have a variety of common names, in British English as bulrush or wild corndog, in American English as reed, cattail, swamp sausage, or punks, in Australia as cumbungi or bulrush, in Canada as bulrush or cattail, and in New Zealand as raupō. Other taxa of plants may be known as bulrush, including some sedges in Scirpus and related genera.
|Cattail, narrow leaf shoots|
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||106 kJ (25 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||4.5 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)|
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults. |
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
Typha are aquatic or semi-aquatic, rhizomatous, herbaceous perennial plants.:925 The leaves are glabrous (hairless), linear, alternate and mostly basal on a simple, jointless stem that bears the flowering spikes. The plants are monoecious, with unisexual flowers that develop in dense racemes. The numerous male flowers form a narrow spike at the top of the vertical stem. Each male (staminate) flower is reduced to a pair of stamens and hairs, and withers once the pollen is shed. Large numbers of tiny female flowers form a dense, sausage-shaped spike on the stem below the male spike. In larger species this can be up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 1 to 4 centimetres (0.4 to 2 in) thick. The seeds are minute, 0.2 millimetres (0.008 in) long, and attached to fine hairs. When ripe, the heads disintegrate into a cottony fluff from which the seeds disperse by wind.
Typha are often among the first wetland plants to colonize areas of newly exposed wet mud, with their abundant wind-dispersed seeds. Buried seeds can survive in the soil for long periods of time. They germinate best with sunlight and fluctuating temperatures, which is typical of many wetland plants that regenerate on mud flats. The plants also spread by rhizomes, forming large, interconnected stands.
Typha are considered to be dominant competitors in wetlands in many areas, and they often exclude other plants with their dense canopy. In the bays of the Great Lakes, for example, they are among the most abundant wetland plants. Different species of cattails are adapted to different water depths.
Well-developed aerenchyma make the plants tolerant of submersion. Even the dead stalks are capable of transmitting oxygen to the rooting zone.
Although Typha are native wetland plants, they can be aggressive in their competition with other native species. They have been problematic in many regions in North America, from the Great Lakes to the Everglades. Native sedges are displaced and wet meadows shrink, likely as a response to altered hydrology of the wetlands and increased nutrient levels. An introduced or hybrid species may be contributing to the problem. Control is difficult. The most successful strategy appears to be mowing or burning to remove the aerenchymous stalks, followed by prolonged flooding. It may be more important to prevent invasion by preserving water level fluctuations, including periods of drought, and to maintain infertile conditions.
The following names are currently accepted:
The most widespread species is Typha latifolia, which is distributed across the entire temperate northern hemisphere. It has also been introduced to Australia. T. angustifolia is nearly as widespread, but does not extend as far north; it may be introduced and invasive in North America. T. domingensis has a more southern American distribution, and it occurs in Australia. T. orientalis is widespread in Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. T. laxmannii, T. minima, and T. shuttleworthii are largely restricted to Asia and southern Europe.
The rushes are harvested and the leaves often dried for later use in chair seats. Re-wetted, the leaves are twisted and wrapped around the chair rungs to form a densely woven seat that is then stuffed (usually with the left over rush).
Many parts of the Typha plant are edible to humans. The starchy rhizomes are nutritious with a protein content comparable to that of maize or rice. They can be processed into a flour with 266 kcal per 100 grams. They are most often harvested from late autumn to early spring. They are fibrous, and the starch must be scraped or sucked from the tough fibers. Plants growing in polluted water can accumulate lead and pesticide residues in their rhizomes, and these should not be eaten.
In traditional Chilean dishes the stem was cut and the flowering portion dipped in Gazcal, a batter made from several spices, flour, and beer. This traditional dish is often compared to Western corndogs and thus the plant itself has adopted the common name "wild corndog".
The outer portion of young plants can be peeled and the heart can be eaten raw or boiled and eaten like asparagus. This food has been popular among the Cossacks in Russia, and has been called "Cossack asparagus". The leaf bases can be eaten raw or cooked, especially in late spring when they are young and tender. In early summer the sheath can be removed from the developing green flower spike, which can then be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob. In mid-summer when the male flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener.
The roots may also be boiled, steamed, fried, or mashed with butter or sour cream much like potatoes.
For local tribes around Lake Titicaca in Peru and Bolivia, Typha were among the most important plants and every part of the plant had multiple uses. For example, they were used to construct rafts and other boats.
During World War II, the United States Navy used the down of Typha as a substitute for kapok in life vests and aviation jackets. Tests showed that even after 100 hours of submersion, the buoyancy was still effective.
Typha stems and leaves can be used to make paper. It is strong with a heavy texture and it is hard to bleach, so it is not suitable for industrial production of graphical paper. In 1853, considerable amounts of cattail paper were produced in New York, due to a shortage of raw materials. In 1948, French scientists tested methods for annual harvesting of the leaves. Because of the high cost these methods were abandoned and no further research was done. Today Typha is used to make decorative paper.
Fibers up to 4 meters long can be obtained from the stems when they are mechanically or chemically treated with sodium hydroxide. The stem fibers resemble jute and can be used to produce raw textiles. The leaf fibers can be used as an alternative to cotton and linen in clothing. The yield of leaf fiber is 30 to 40 percent and Typha glauca can produce 7 to 10 tons per hectare annually.
The seed hairs were used by some Indigenous peoples of the Americas as tinder for starting fires. Some tribes also used Typha down to line moccasins, and for bedding, diapers, baby powder, and cradleboards. One Native American word for Typha meant "fruit for papoose's bed". Typha down is still used in some areas to stuff clothing items and pillows.
Typha can be dipped in wax or fat and then lit as a candle, the stem serving as a wick. Without the use of wax or fat it will smolder slowly, somewhat like incense, and may repel insects.
One informal experiment has indicated that Typha are able to remove arsenic from drinking water. The boiled rootstocks have been used as a diuretic for increasing urination, or mashed to make a jelly-like paste for sores, boils, wounds, burns, scabs, and smallpox pustules.
Aquatic plants are plants that have adapted to living in aquatic environments (saltwater or freshwater). They are also referred to as hydrophytes or macrophytes. A macrophyte is an aquatic plant that grows in or near water and is either emergent, submergent, or floating, and includes helophytes (a plant that grows in marsh, partly submerged in water, so that it regrows from buds below the water surface). In lakes and rivers macrophytes provide cover for fish and substrate for aquatic invertebrates, produce oxygen, and act as food for some fish and wildlife.Aquatic plants require special adaptations for living submerged in water, or at the water's surface. The most common adaptation is aerenchyma, but floating leaves and finely dissected leaves are also common. Aquatic plants can only grow in water or in soil that is permanently saturated with water. They are therefore a common component of wetlands.Fringing stands of tall vegetation by water basins and rivers may include helophytes. Examples include stands of Equisetum fluviatile, Glyceria maxima, Hippuris vulgaris, Sagittaria, Carex, Schoenoplectus, Sparganium, Acorus, yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus), Typha and Phragmites australis.Bulrush
Bulrushes is the vernacular name for several large wetland grass-like plants in the sedge family (Cyperaceae).
The name is particularly applied to several sedge family genera:
Cyperus, the genus which includes the plant species likely referred to in the Biblical account of the Ark of bulrushes
Scirpus a genus commonly known as bulrushes in North America, which in previous circumscriptions has also included species now classified in the genera:
TrichophorumOutside of the sedge family, the name is used for Typha, a genus in the family Typhaceae. The Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland recommends "bulrush" as a common name for plants in the genus Typha. These species are sometimes known as reed mace in the United Kingdom. They are sometimes also called cattails.
One particular famous story involving bulrushes is that of the ark of bulrushes in the Book of Exodus. In this story, it is said that the infant Moses was found in a boat made of bulrushes. Within the context of the story, this is probably paper reed (Cyperus papyrus).
When fish make beds over bulrush, they sweep away the sand, exposing the roots. This dense region of roots provides excellent cover for young fish.Calamotropha paludella
Calamotropha paludella is a species of moth of the family Crambidae. It is found in Europe, Africa, Australia and large parts of Asia.
The wingspan is 23–29 mm. The moth flies from June to August depending on the location.
The larvae feed on Typha latifolia and sometimes Typha angustifolia.Carinomitra typha
Carinomitra typha is a species of sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Mitridae, the miters or miter snails.Limnaecia phragmitella
The shy cosmet moth (Limnaecia phragmitella) is a moth of the Cosmopterigidae family. It is known from all of Europe, as well as Asia, Australia and New Zealand. It is also present in North America, where it is distributed from Nova Scotia to Virginia, west to Oklahoma and north to Ontario. The habitat consists of fens and marshes.
The moth is about 15–22 mm. Adults are on wing in July in western Europe and from June to August in North America. Adults have shiny yellowish-tan forewings with two white-ringed dark brown dots and some dark brown shading near the apex. The hindwing is tan shaded with gray.The larvae feed inside the seedheads of Typha species, including Typha angustifolia and Typha latifolia. There are indications that young larvae mine in the spongy tissue of the leaf sheaths. The larvae have a whitish or pale tan body with a brown dorsal line. The dorsolateral and ventrolateral lines are composed of light brown irregular patches. The head is brown with darker brown spots and there are brown spots on the terminal abdominal segment.Livarot cheese
Livarot is a French cheese of the Normandy region, originating in the commune of Livarot, and protected by an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) since 1975.
It is a soft, pungent, washed rind cheese made from cow's milk. The normal weight for a round of Livarot is 450 g, though it also comes in other weights. It is sold in cylindrical form with the orangish rind wrapped in 3 to 5 rings of dried reedmace (Typha latifolia). For this reason, it has been referred to as 'colonel', as the rings of dried bullrush resemble the stripes on a colonel's uniform. Sometimes green paper is also used. Its orange colour comes from different sources depending on the manufacturer, but is often annatto. The bacterium Brevibacterium linens is employed in fermentation. Production in 1998 was 1,101 tons, down 12.2% since 1996. Only 12% of Livarot are made from raw, unpasteurised milk. Its period of optimal tasting is spread out from May to September after a refining from 6 to 8 weeks, but it is also excellent from March to December.Nonagria typhae
The Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhae) is a moth of the Noctuidae family. It is found from Ireland and Portugal to southern Fennoscandia, east to western Siberia, the Altai Mountains, Yakutia, Turkey, the Caucasus, Lebanon, Egypt, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and central Asia.
The wingspan is 45–50 mm. Adults are on wing from July to October.
The larvae feed on Typha latifolia and Typha angustifolia.Pirituba
Pirituba is a district in the subprefecture of Pirituba-Jaraguá in the city of São Paulo, Brazil. It is located in the northwestern side of the city. A person who lives in Pirituba is often called "piritubano".
Pirituba's name origin is the juxtaposition of the Tupi language words piri (Southern cattail, a marshland plant of the Typha genus) and tuba ("many").Schoenoplectus
Schoenoplectus (club-rush [Old World species], bulrush or tule [New World species]) is a genus of plants in the sedges with a cosmopolitan distribution. Note that the name bulrush is also applied to species in the unrelated genus Typha as well as to other sedges. The genus Schoenoplectus was formerly considered part of Scirpus, but recent phylogenetic data shows that they are not closely related.Street Heath
Street Heath (grid reference ST464394) is a 12.5 hectare (31.0 acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest 4 km west of Glastonbury in Somerset, notified in 1966. It next to the Glastonbury Canal and Ham Wall nature reserve. Street Heath has itself been designated as a Local Nature Reserve.Street Heath is a nature reserve, managed by Somerset Wildlife Trust, which has outstanding examples of communities that were once common on the Somerset Levels. It possesses a vegetation consisting of wet and dry heath, species-rich bog and carr woodland, with transitions between all these habitats. Rare ferns present include marsh fern (Thelypteris palustris) and royal fern (Osmunda regalis). Old peat workings and rhynes have a wetland community which includes bulrush (Typha latifolia), yellow flag iris (pseudacorus), cyperus-like sedge (Carex pseudocyperus) and lesser bur-reed (Sparganium minimum). Insects recorded include 33 species of butterflies, 200 moths and 12 grasshoppers and crickets, with several notable rarities. Birds breeding in the carr woodland include the local willow titTypha angustifolia
Typha angustifolia L. (also lesser bulrush, narrowleaf cattail or lesser reedmace) is a perennial herbaceous plant of genus Typha. This cattail is an "obligate wetland" species that is commonly found in the northern hemisphere in brackish locations. The plant's leaves are flat, very narrow (¼"-½" wide), and 3'-6' tall when mature; 12-16 leaves arise from each vegetative shoot. At maturity, they have distinctive stalks that are about as tall as the leaves; the stalks are topped with brown, fluffy, sausage-shaped flowering heads. The plants have sturdy, rhizomatous roots that can extend 27" and are typically ¾"-1½" in diameter.It has been proposed that the species was introduced from Europe to North America. In North America, it is also thought to have been introduced from coastal to inland locations.
The geographic range of Typha angustifolia overlaps with the very similar species Typha latifolia (broadleaf or common cattail). T. angustifolia can be distinguished from T. latifolia by its narrower leaves and by a clear separation of two different regions (staminate flowers above and pistilate flowers below) on the flowering heads. The species hybridize as Typha x glauca (Typha angustifolia x T. latifolia) (white cattail); Typha x glauca is not a distinct species, but is rather a sterile F1 hybrid. Broadleaf cattail is usually found in shallower water than narrowleaf cattail.Typha capensis
Typha capensis is an aquatic plant known from southern and eastern Africa as far north as Uganda. It has also been reported from Brazil.The rhizomes of Typha capensis are used medicinally in southern Africa. It is reported to improve circulation and to enhance male libido and performance.Typha domingensis
Typha domingensis, known commonly as southern cattail or cumbungi, is a perennial herbaceous plant of the genus Typha.
It is found throughout temperate and tropical regions worldwide. It is sometimes found as a subdominant associate in mangrove ecosystems such as the Petenes mangroves ecoregion of Yucatán.In the marshes of southern Iraq, Khirret is a dessert made from the pollen of this plant. In Turkish folk medicine the female inflorescences of this plant and other Typha are used externally to treat wounds such as burns. Extracts of T. domingensis have been demonstrated to have wound healing properties in rat models.Water extracts of the fruit, female flower and male flower of Typha domingensis exhibit iron chelating activity as well as superoxide and nitric oxide scavenging activities. By contrast, only the fruit and female flower extracts were found to have alpha-glucosidase inhibitory activity. A partially purified, proanthocyanidin-rich butanol fraction of the fruit was shown to be a competitive inhibitor of alpha-glucosidase, which also had concurrent antioxidant activity.Recently it was found that Typha domingensis is very effective at reducing bacterial contamination of water for agricultural use. This plant helps to reduce, up to 98 percent, pollution by enterobacteria (usually found in the intestines of mammals) involved in the development of disease.Typha domingensis grows in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, the Andaman Islands., Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Assam, Australia, Azerbaijan, the Azores, the Balearic Islands, Bangladesh, Benin, Bermuda, Bolivia Ecuador, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burma, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Central America, Chad, China, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Corsica, Ivory Coast, Crete, Crimea, Croatia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France (incl. French Guinea & Réunion), Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan (incl. Ryukyu Islands), Kazakhstan, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Niger, Nigeria, Norfolk Island, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Sardinia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovenia, the Society Islands, Somalia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Toto, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, the United States (incl. Hawaii), the Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, the West indies, Yemen, and ZambiaTypha elephantina
Typha elephantina is a plant species widespread across northern Africa and southern Asia. It is considered native in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Senegal, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Yunnan, Assam, Bangladesh, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan and Burma. It grows in freshwater marshes and on the banks of lakes and streams.Typha latifolia
Typha latifolia (broadleaf cattail, bulrush, common bulrush, common cattail, cat-o'-nine-tails, great reedmace, cooper's reed, cumbungi) is a perennial herbaceous plant in the genus Typha. It is found as a native plant species in North and South America, Europe, Eurasia, and Africa. In Canada, broadleaf cattail occurs in all provinces and also in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, and in the United States, it is native to all states except Hawaii. It is an introduced and invasive species, and is considered a noxious weed, in Australia and Hawaii. It has been reported in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.Typha latifolia has been found in a variety of climates, including tropical, subtropical, southern and northern temperate, humid coastal, and dry continental. It is found at elevations from sea level to 7,500 feet (2,300 m).
Typha latifolia is an "obligate wetland" species, meaning that it is always found in or near water. The species generally grows in flooded areas where the water depth does not exceed 2.6 feet (0.8 meters). However, it has also been reported growing in floating mats in slightly deeper water. T. latifolia grows mostly in fresh water but also occurs in slightly brackish marshes. The species can displace other species native to salt marshes upon reduction in salinity. Under such conditions the plant may be considered invasive, since it interferes with preservation of the salt marsh habitat.Typha latifolia shares its range with other related species, and hybridizes with Typha angustifolia, narrow-leaf cattail, to form Typha × glauca (Typha angustifolia × T. latifolia), white cattail. Common cattail is usually found in shallower water than narrow-leaf cattail.
The plant is 1.5 to 3 metres (5 to 10 feet) high and it has 2–4 cm (¾ to 1½ inch) broad leaves, and will generally grow out in to 0.75 to 1 metre (2 to 3 feet) of water depth.Typha laxmannii
Typha laxmannii, common name graceful cattail, is a wetland plant species widespread across Europe and Asia. Typha laxmannii is not as tall as many of the other species in the genus, rarely more than 130 cm high. A noticeable space separates the staminate (male) flowers from the pistillate (female) ones.Typha orientalis
Typha orientalis, commonly known as bulrush, bullrush, cumbungi in Australia, or raupō in New Zealand, is a perennial herbaceous plant in the genus Typha. It can be found in Australia (all 6 states plus Northern Territory and Norfolk Island), New Zealand including the Chatham Islands and the Kermadec Islands), Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, China and the Russian Far East (Sakhalin and Primorye).T. orientalis is a wetland plant that grows on the edges of ponds, lakes and slow flowing rivers and streams.Typha × argoviensis
Typha × argoviensis is a plant of hybrid origin, native to Switzerland and Germany. It apparently originated as a cross between the two very widespread species T. latifolia and T. shuttleworthii. Typha × argoviensis grows in freshwater marshes.Typhaceae
The Typhaceae () are a family of flowering plants, sometimes called the cattail family. The botanical name for the family has been recognized by most taxonomists.